Five Things Every Caregiver Should do to Take Care of Their Own Health
As a caregiver, your job revolves around helping others. When you’re in a situation like that, it’s all too easy to forget about your own health and wellbeing. However, if you’re not taking care of yourself appropriately, then the quality of care that you provide to others very well may decrease. Making sure that you’re doing well both physically and emotionally is one of the best ways to not only improve your productivity as a caregiver but also better your life in general. So, with that in mind, here are five things that every caregiver should do to take care of their own health.
1. Make the most out of your doctor’s appointments
It’s easy to go through the motions at the doctor’s office. A lot of times it almost feels like we’re more of a spectator to our appointments rather than an active participant. So, next time you go to the doctor’s, vocalize anything you may have noticed about your body recently that doesn’t feel “normal” even if it doesn’t appear to be a big deal. Also, don’t be afraid to just ask general health questions, or ask for advice from your doctor on things such as weight management, how to sleep better, and anything else you might be curious about.
2. Be proactive about getting screenings
On the subject of being actively involved in your doctor’s appointments, ask your doctor about any screenings that they recommend for preventative care. Doctors can do things such as skin exams to look for skin cancer, screenings for colon and rectal cancer, blood sugar tests, and even an eye exam. Depending on your gender, there are even more options such as prostate cancer screenings for men, and breast cancer screenings for women. So, make sure that you ask your doctor to help you stay up to date on any screenings that you should be getting.
3. Evaluate your lifestyle habits
Even outside of the doctor’s office, it’s important to consider your lifestyle habits and the role they play in your health. Pay attention to the signs your body is giving you. If you’re feeling bogged down, evaluate if you’re eating a quality diet. If you’re feeling sluggish during work hours, try out different sleep schedules to see what works best for you. If you’ve picked up a habit such as smoking, consider quitting. Make sure that you’re trying to live the healthiest life you can.
4. Connect with others who understand your circumstances
There’s nothing like having a supportive network of friends who understand what you’re going through. Try to connect with fellow caregivers and form meaningful relationships with someone who comprehends all the different emotions that come with being a caregiver. The best type of friend is one who will never judge you for the low moments that come with your job but will always celebrate with you the best parts as well.
5. Advocate for your own needs
It can be hard when you’re a caring, kind person, to make sure that you’re advocating for your own health and wellbeing. Just because you’re a caregiver doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to a day off every once in a while, or even just a few hours at the spa. So, don’t be afraid to tell friends, family, and even those that you work for what you’re feeling, and what you need from them. Your health matters too!
Being a caregiver can be a challenging yet rewarding career. As long as you take care of yourself and your needs, you’ll be perfectly equipped to take care of the needs of others.